Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's a bird, it's a plane ... it's Putin?

Picture Vladimir Putin in a white suit, playing Big Daddy for a group of young Siberian white cranes

It's no joke. Putin, who apparently takes an active interest in his country's wildlife, recently piloted a motorized hang glider wearing a white crane-daddy suit in the name of conservation.

Siberian Crane at the Tennouji Zoo in Osaka, Japan.
Photo courtesy of OpenCage / Wikimedia

Why? The Russian leader was doing his thing, leading a flock of captive-bred cranes along their southern migration route to Central Asia. The youngsters don't inherently know the way; they learn it by following their elders. Or, in this case, their President. Since these cranes are critically endangered, it's important for humans to blaze the trail.

After his excursion, Putin admitted uncertainty about his next animal adventure. "That's for the specialists to decide," he said. "It shouldn't be just for fun, but it should have some use." 

Watch a video of Putin's flight HERE.

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